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The Book Thief: Symbolism

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emily musco

on 22 August 2013

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Transcript of The Book Thief: Symbolism

The Book Thief: Symbolism
The Accordion
Hans' accordion represents his soul, his life saver who gave him the accordion, hope, and comfort.
Han's accordion also plays as a distraction to Liesel.
When Hans goes off to fight in the war the accordion was something that Rosa held at night to remind her of Hans and symbolize him.
Hans played music to Liesel and she was drawn to it because it had a hint of darkness that she enjoyed.
Liesel placed the accordion with Hans' body when they were bombed which represented her love.
The Books
Liesel stole her first book at her brother's burial when she could'nt even read; this symbolizes her attempt at rebellion and kind of a revenge on the world.
Each book stolen after the first were purposely stolen for the reading or learning aspect.
The books Liesel owned each symbolized a new step, friendship, or start to her life and all helped her make some kind of connection with someone in some way.
The books also play as a distraction to the people in the bomb shelter which is an idea she got from Hans and his accordion which he played to her as a comforter but also as a distraction.
The Seasons
Winter represents sadness and distress. In the beginning of the book when her brother dies it is dead winter and snowing. It talks a lot about frozen blood cracking on Liesel's hands and how pale and sickly she looks. Liesel also beats up kids for making fun of her inability to read it was also winter time.
Warmer weather is when things are happier and uplifting, for example when she meets Rudy it is during the warm soccer playing season and when she begins to read more in Mrs. Hermans library.
The Basements
The basements in The Book Thief symbolize hiding and protection from the outer world.
But they also represent the constant danger of being killed because the Hubermann's are committing an illegal crime by hiding Max a Jew in their basement. But there is also a means of escape when they are all able to get together and have Liesel read to them in the Fielder basement/ bomb shelter.
The Hubermann's basement is used as a classroom for Liesel and the location of where both Max and Liesel write their books.
Max also begins to live in the Hubermann basement so it doubles as a house, but also where Liesel and Max's friendship started.
The underground basements are also used for creativity which comes from deep within Max and Liesel which makes them symbolic.
The Holocaust and Hitler
The Holocaust represents the forest of trees that Max used to write "The Word Shaker. all of the trees were Hitlers words, except for the one Liesel was using to stand up for Max which was the one tree Hitler and his army could not chop down.
The Jews were symbols of walking death.
The parades of Jews that were sent through Liesel's town symbolized the level of consequences her family could have faced if the Nazis had found Max in their basement.
Hitler represented a constantly present force that killed and saddened people in the same way that Liesels brother haunted her in her dreams.
Liesel's Books
The Gravedigger's Handbook
The Shoulder Shrug
Mien Kampf
The Standover Man
The Whistler
The Dream Carrier
The Complete Duden Dictionary and Thesaurus
The Word Shaker
The Last Human Stranger
The Book Thief
Full transcript